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Disparity-based stereomotion detectors are poorly suited to track 2D motion

A study was conducted to examine the time required to process lateral motion and motion-in-depth for luminance- and disparity-defined stimuli. In a 2 2 design, visual stimuli oscillated sinusoidally in either 2D (moving left to right at a constant disparity of 9 arcmin) or 3D (looming and receding in depth between 6 and 12 arcmin) and were defined either purely by disparity (change of disparity over time [CDOT]) or by a combination of disparity and luminance (providing CDOT and interocular velocity differences [IOVD]). Visual stimuli were accompanied by an amplitude-modulated auditory tone that oscillated at the same rate and whose phase was varied to find the latency producing synchronous perception of the auditory and visual oscillations. In separate sessions, oscillations of 0.7 and 1.4 Hz were compared. For the combined CDOT IOVD stimuli (disparity and luminance [DL] conditions), audiovisual synchrony required a 50 ms auditory lag, regardless of whether the motion was 2D or 3D. For the CDOT-only stimuli (disparity-only [DO] conditions), we found that a similar lag (;60 ms) was needed to produce synchrony for the 3D motion condition. However, when the CDOT-only stimuli oscillated along a 2D path, the auditory lags required for audiovisual synchrony were much longer: 170 ms for the 0.7 Hz condition, and 90 ms for the 1.4 Hz condition. These results suggest that stereomotion detectors based on CDOT are well suited to tracking 3D motion, but are poorly suited to tracking 2D motion.